Aside from Thriller video flash backs and trying to moon walk with my children, the Michael Jackson media craze has had a positive side effect. It got me started thinking about the legacies we leave behind.
Instinctively, many consider personal legacies – our children, the homes we decorate, perhaps even the charitable causes we support. But on the drive to work this morning I was struck by the notion of professional legacies. I don’t mean the Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr. legacies that change our very way of thinking on a grand scale. I’m referring to the little parts of us we leave behind at work each day, each month, each year. I think most people are consumed with their day to day tasks and forget about the small legacies they are capable of leaving.
A legacy could be the smile you bring to difficult team meetings, or the shoulder you share during times of crisis. Your attitude is contagious and perhaps the most powerful legacy you can leave behind.
Your legacy could be a loyal customer who turned to you in a time of need. A billing error you corrected, or an upgrade referral that made their life easier.
Sometimes your legacy is not about what you do, but the actions you inspire in your employees. The drive you instill in them to do their best – to mentor a new employee, to find a more streamlined process or to introduce a new service.
Legacies big and small are derived from our actions. By being aware of the legacies we generate I believe we create a more fulfilling work environment.
What’s your professional legacy? I for one am not done creating them.